Places I don’t belong

I fell in love with photography when I was 18 or 19, browsing Flickr. Of all the images on the website, I was drawn to the ones that were grainy, moody, mysterious, cinematic and sad. I’d stare at them and wonder how these images came about, and I wondered about the photographers too, who seemed to live such deep, memorable, colorful lives.

I yearned to be like them. And I yearned, even more, to be somewhere else. In fact all of my late teenage years were about wanting to be transplanted to a better reality. I idolised writers like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg and Paul Theroux and Bruce Chatwin, who all went to faraway places and lived big, adventurous lives. I wanted to go to England or America or India and join up with young people who were smarter and cooler than me, who could teach me how to smoke cigarettes and drink beer and who’d bring me along on their wild and crazy road trips into the unknown.

So I think my desire to take photos was fuelled by exactly this sort of discontent. It did not come from a pure and bright place, but from a place of youthful anguish and confused idealism and a yearning for a more beautiful place to be at.

Today I still think of my camera as a passport, a means of getting to places I don’t belong.